In the next couple of days I’ll be doing a small series of “top 10’s” from the 2010 World Cup. The first top 10 that I’m gonna look at are the top 10 best fans of this WC. Some of these countries’ fans are great to have a beer with… and others, not so much (…they might actually throw a beer at you instead of drinking it with you). Regardless each nation had their own particular reason for why they made my list.
And just for fun, I made three different categories for these fans: “Have a beer”, “Have a cocktail“, and “Have a water”.
Basically “Have a beer” means you’ll have a great time with these guys over a few pints.
“Have a cocktail” means these fans are still great to drink with but are more casual and/or beer is just not this country’s choice of beverage.
“Have a water” means exactly that…for your own sake, avoid drinking so that you can easily run away if you’re gonna get mugged.
#10 – South Africa – Have a beer
Definitely some of the more unorthodox fans of this WC but also definitely some of the most exciting ones as well. They show some of the best national pride and unity despite having a mediocre soccer team. Many people weren’t too keen on the fans of the Bafana Bafana and their vuvuzelas at first, but ultimately I think they won the world’s hearts over.
#9 – USA – Have a beer
U-S-A! U-S-A! New to the idea of soccer but certainly no to fandom. Some of the Yanks’ best attributes is their world-famous U-S-A chant and the fact that they travel in flocks to World Cups. According to FIFA, USA purchased the most 2010 World Cup tickets outside the host nation. And this WC, more than ever before, we saw a whole array of costumes worn by American fans. Great stuff.
#8 – Spain – Have a cocktail
Its no wonder the country that plays some of the most attractive soccer in the world has some very pleasant fans. The Spanish fans are an interesting sort and certainly deserve to be on this list. They create a party atmosphere but are pretty casual. Although they might not be as obnoxious or loud as other countries, they are true patriots and love their country. Their fans tend to fall in three major categories: connoisseurs with a thorough understanding of soccer, patriots, and beautiful women.
#7 – Argentina – Have a water
Many Argentinian fans may not be the most economically sound, but damn, when the World Cup comes around they’ll always find a way to get there. These guys travel in masses, invade countries, and just about make them their own. To them football is a religion and Maradona is God. They’re some of the most passionate and sometimes some of the most violent (and they’re decked out with the best kit in international soccer). Hooliganism is still quite a problem in Argentina and it sometimes leaks over into the national side as well. I wouldn’t suggest drinking with these boys…
#6 – Mexico – Have a water
Essentially a classless version of Argentina. These guys die for the game and the sombreros they wear is just about the only mildly pleasant thing about the Mexican fans. And when they don’t wear those, they wear some pretty intimidating “Lucha Libre” masks. Their country currently has a major drug problem (and I’m starting to think their fans do too…haha I apologize) and that doesn’t help the situation. Just to put things in perspective when the opposing goalie kicks a goal kick, the entire nation chants “puto” which essentially means male prostitute. And to make things worse, they threw a cup full of beer, urine, and vomit at Landon Donovan a couple years ago. I suggest to have a water…
#5 – Australia – Have a beer
Some of the most underrated soccer fans. These guys are like a mixture of English and Dutch fans, but slightly less soccer savvy. They have some great chants and they love to sing in unison. Always decked out in bright colors, Aussie flags, and inflatable kangaroos, the Socceroos make sure to have fun. Even when they’re losing they have smiles on their faces. The picture above is me with a few Aussies at the 2006 World Cup. I had my beer with them and you should too.
#4 – Brazil – Have a cocktail
When people think soccer, people think Brazil. It only makes sense that their fans are good too. Brazilian fans like the Spanish are an interesting sort. Many obviously know the game inside-out. Some are just hot babes looking for some love. And the rest are just on the bandwagon, because after all, if you’re Brazilian and you’re not in love with soccer then you probably have some sort of disease. Brazilians are known for creating an awesome party atmosphere at World Cups, and IF they get eliminated the party dies down a good amount without them.
#3 – Netherlands – Have a beer
At this point, the fans are so good that any one of these countries could be #1. The Dutch literally paint countries orange when they’re at the World Cup. Their fans are crazy, drugged-out, drinking, dancing, and singing. They usually wear some of the best and cleaver costumes and play lots of music. This past World Cup, a bunch of Dutch fans drove 14,000 miles to South Africa and a near two months to attend the tournament. That’s freaking dedication (not to mention a huge gas bill). The only reason I put them at #3 and not higher is because I get the impression that a few too many of them are in it for the party rather than the soccer. Regardless, have a beer!
#2 – Germany – Have a beer
The picture above just says it all. It’s patriotism like none other. The Germans have gone through a lot and have always held “fussball” close to their hearts. They have some of the most amazing songs/chants and if you’re ever at a Germany game on German soil, you will get goosebumps the moment you see the stadium. You will never see this many flags. And the amount of people that show up to their “live screenings” of soccer games is just amazing. They sell out stadiums to watch their national team play…on a jumbo-tron. The only reason they’re not #1 is because they unlike the English, they are lucky enough to actually see their team do well in World Cups.
#1 – England – Have a beer (but take it easy…)
England. The so-called “creators of the game”. Football is what England lives for. Almost everyone is a football fan in England. And amazingly everyone that is a fan knows a ton about soccer. Their fans are some of the most dedicated people and although they bicker and whine a lot, they have a good reason too. These guys go all out for their national team, but haven’t seen a World Cup win since 1966. And when they get ousted, these guys get wasted and you might just want to give them some space. They’re the Anglican world’s German-equivalent, except with songs that us Americans can actually understand. When these guys sing, they too will give you goosebumps. And it helps to have one of the best national anthems on the planet.